My quick DIY – free autumn decor

 

IMG_5363After collecting acorn caps yesterday, I had a little crafting session while catching up on some YouTube. I’m sure there was a cup of tea, so lets say there was just to set the scene.

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It took me a while to make the ball of acorns but I plan to make more in the future – does this mean I’ll have to collect more?! Damn! Well, if I have to collect more then I’ll have to. It’s not like my favourite thing in the world, or anything.

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Wind chime of collected junk

 

A few months ago I finally made my wind chime, my sacred wind chime of rubbish I’ve collected from all different places, and of course it’s not and may never be finished.

I couldn’t actually start making it till I had enough stuff collected, not that this was a thought nor a plan, but in my mind I was building it every time I found a new treasure. I probably had enough items months and months ago though, to be honest, but it was June when one morning I woke up and decided to go collect sticks and start. And, like I said, there wasn’t much thought then either, and if you carry on reading you’ll see my failure in having no plan.

If any of you have seen the film Harriet The Spy (just to let you know I was completely obsessed with it as a child) this was inspired from the junk yard where they play. To think of all the things that could capture your imagination – it’s the freedom of junk.

Look up some photos, you’ll understand.

It hangs from my door and truly jingles. I want to move it but I haven’t got a place yet. When I have my own house I want to have it in my garden.

So what is on my wind chime?

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My Mum had collected old keys from past houses, old locks, or sheds etc, and I think I had a few from the past too. Why it feels so wrong to throw away keys, we will never know.

I dripped them into little pots of fence paint that I bought for 10p each (so it’s water proof). I did it on a very hot and sweaty June day (remember that heat rise?) and I struggled in finding ways for them to dry – as you can tell by the photos. I also got my first sun burn of the year, which was a massive cross on my back because of my bikini.

 

(I have photos of the process because I naturally document a lot of things I do, whether I share it or not)

I also have shells and a starfish from all different beaches from all different countries. I didn’t drill any holes, I purposefully searched for ones with existing holes. My favourite shell is the one in the first photos with sand stuck on it.

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And stones, one with a natural hole in and one without a hole.

I was experimenting with some shells and the hole-less stone that I picked up on a beach where my friend got married in Zante, and I ended up gluing the sting to the stone. Everything else is tied.

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When I was making my wind chime I also made this wall hanging below, just to hang in my bedroom rather than outside. It has the same collected junk on: keys, stones, shells and another real starfish. Because this one looked great with natural wood, I made my wind chime with natural wood originally. Which, if you’re ready for it, is the big failure!

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It was just so wrong! It’s from a horror film. I took so many photos, in different places, in different times in the day, from different distances, just to try and make myself like it. After everything was I just going to throw it all away?! So frustrating.

It reminded me Mexico’s Day of the Dead. I sent photos to a few different people and the stories I got back, oh deary me, one person said it’s like people have hung themselves, and another said its the keys from people who have died.

Like, great stories but nooo I wanted something pretty. Luckily, my friend (the one that got married in Zante) suggested painting it white and although I really wanted natural wood I just had to do it.

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Luckily, it’s perfect. In the imperfect sense.

I have so many stones and shells, with holes in, scattered in different corners of my life which I have yet to add, so in the future I hope to just keep tying them on.

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I also have lots of other stones, shells and bits and bobs without holes, and therefore will not be tied up. (I collect random other stuff too, one being corks). I’ve brain stormed some ideas of what I want to do with them, although I do like them just sitting around on my window sill and surfaces. The main idea was to fill a jar or vase with them, and write each location on each layer – but I don’t remember which things came from where anymore. That idea is gone, for now.

So I’ll have a think and if I come up with something you’ll know where I’ll come to!

 

Side note: don’t you think it’s weird that I’ve technically hung up dead sea creatures for decor?

 

 

Fixing what’s unsatisfactory

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Creating meaningful surroundings is important to me. I’m not a designer of any sort. I don’t have rules… I purposely like to kid myself that I’m breaking rules but I have no clue, I could be following a rule book unbeknown to me.

That’s what I was doing today. Concentrating on my room. It’s not done, this is where I’m up to. Everyday I view my surrounds as something to decorate, I suppose that’s just a creative mind, but I don’t always act on the urge, hence this post. There is a need in me to fix everything to what I find pleasing though.

I wonder why when something is important to me, like decorating and styling, I don’t become more knowledgeable on it but rather I allow it to be what it is. It’s an natural interest, I like stuff, but at the same time I am particular on what I have. I like to collect things from different places, I like to make things, I don’t need my possessions to scream what interests I have but I like them to portray my personality. That’s why it’s homely to me. That’s why I feel comfortable in my room.

And how does pleasing me work? How do I ‘find’ what is pleasing? I suppose, I say reluctantly, that must come down to some sort of rule – the juxtaposition of the objects. It’s like pretty faces are usually symmetrical. I don’t know. I’m just not sure, there’s probably a science behind it. With people who are Doctors. Hello, I’m a Doctor of Style. You wouldn’t believe them though, would you. You’d just think they’re being cocky.

My room is divided into two categories; things I’m satisfied with and things I’m not. I wasn’t aware of this till recently and all it comes down to when I have a feeling that something isn’t right. Which is an okay problem, I suppose, but it occurred to me that I could just fix them. Anything that gives me a sinking feeling just correct it till I’m all chill inside.

That’s obvious isn’t it. When you live in a space you don’t often see that though.

So here I am fixing what doesn’t satisfy me and I’ll update you in the future whether these changes have worked.

shelving

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bed side table

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shelves

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This is where I kind of gave up and had a walk, food and a bubble bath. I’m an easily distracted creature. This one was a tough one though. I still don’t think it’s right but I think I’m done playing for today so I’ll sit on it a bit and see if my dissatisfied senses tingle.

It does look kind of cute. It’s growing on me already.IMG_2916

 

Quotes for me and pottery

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You need to be tested.

Sentences pop into my brain every once in a while which sums up what I’m feeling or even advice for getting through it. It’s almost like there’s someone else in here with me that just points something out which steers me in the right direction. There isn’t a little man in here though, it’s an a culmination of all my thoughts jumbled up then like on Count Down it’s my job to find the words. It’s a little dose of clarity I need every once in a while.

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Other thoughts I’ve had the past week or two that were so strong I had to write down;

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Don’t become stagnant.

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Exercise is the baseline for some stability.

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You feel like you have so much to offer the world so why aren’t you offering it?

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Always try.

Charity and Small Business Gift Tag – Free Download

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This coming Christmas is a different one is so many way. I’m not going to list it all, you’re welcome, but for the sake of this post actually making sense I will reveal one. All (if possible) presents I will be buying will be bought from a charity shop, or the money donated to charity, or from a small business.

It makes so much sense! I don’t know why I haven’t done it before.

The idea only came to me because my partner isn’t a fan of Christmas because of the consumerism. Which I agree with, and would try to explain that it isn’t about the presents;

‘Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!’ The Grinch

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But yeah, I see what he was saying. Although the Grinch worked that out, a lot of other people haven’t. The only answer when dating a girl who is obsessed with all things Christmas is to stick to your own morals and ideals, you don’t need to get wrapped up (oh the pun) in the present buying. It’s just stress and it feels weird. For me and I’m sure a lot of people, Christmas is about thanking those you love and a celebration for the past year. I want to get those I love a little something to show my appreciation – that’s it. For a added bonus, I get a kick from making my own presents and cards – and in this case, gift tags.

I’ve made my own gift tags. Yes I have. I want people to know where they came from, it gives me a warm feeling. Not in a ‘I’M A GREAT PERSON AND I WANT YOU ALL TO KNOW AND PRAISE ME!’ way, because it did just occur to me that it sounds like I’m boasting and shitting on everyone else’s ideals. More in a ‘this is what Christmas means to me’ way. I just need to add as well that the gifts from etsy are generally so cute and personal, and oh my God so exciting when they come through the post and you unwrap it to see how they’ve packaged it.

So, why presents from these places and not a ‘normal’ shop? It just seems mad to think that we all go to the same huge businesses that don’t benefit the little man, and I’m not going to go into it but I think we are all aware of where the products are made and the all negatives. I can’t personally dive into it right now, for my mental health exploding for the, I don’t know, 12th time today (?), because I still do shop at these places so even if I don’t support it, I’m supporting it.. My brain. Ouch.

My brother argued with me that these big businesses have thousands of employees to pay – I even work for a big business – so it could have a negative impact on all those people. My family like to debate, I should add. Just because I don’t completely agree with it doesn’t mean others don’t. These big businesses are going to make their money. While their employees get paid £7 an hour. It’s okay for me to not buy from these companies.

I do urge you to buy a few gifts from the little man this Christmas, it means a lot more to them and it feels good.

If you would like to download my homemade gift tags click on the link below. I printed mine onto recycled card stock.

Download – charity, small business gift tag

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Just in case you were wondering if it is more difficult finding and buying gifts this way, I have found it easier surprisingly. Thanks for reading! This is the part where I serenade you with a Christmas song as you walk away…

Trying Homemade Infused Vodka 

I’ll set the scene: got the himalayan salt lamp on, lit candles, blanket over us, cuddled watching TV and could I sound any more pretentious? Oh yeah, drinking our homemade infused vodka. There you go.

It’s a gloomy day in England. What possibly could perk everything up other than trying our pineapple Infused Vodka? Spoiler; nothing else could do the job. 

And the verdict I hear you cry! It’s guilty of making me tipsy while I’m trying to write this post, for number one, and number two it tastes wonderful! A big win here. Means we can make a lot more, experiment with flavours, and give them out at Christmas! Not to random people obviously, that’ll be too weird even for me. 

Happy Thursday people! 

Toddler Crafting: Photo Cut Out

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Not much feels better than when a vague idea floating around in my head is executed perfectly. From Little Man painting perfectly, and fuss free, to me carefully cutting his shape out with no problems – even managed to get his eye lashes. The only slight problem was with the printer, but everything was too good to be true, something had to happen, and better the printer than my own capabilities.

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I started with a paper print out of the photo I took, and two extra but in reverse that will be used at the end. Little Man chose his colours and painted the back of the normal photo.

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Once dry, obviously, I cut him out using a very sharp crafting knife. There were dollops of paint, an artist choice I’m sure, so it was thicker in some parts which meant I had to go back over it. It was still a success though. I didn’t let the pressure of ruining Little Mans art get to me, I kept my cool, I had an assistant dabbing the sweat off my forehead and finished without a flat line. I’m basically a surgeon now. No? Okay.

I used a pritt stick and stuck the big painting without Little Man on to one reversed photo, and the cut out of the painting Little Man onto the other reversed photo, then cut them down to their original 7×5 size.

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Now framing. Doesn’t it seem a shame to frame something fun like this in a normal double frame. I brain stormed with my partner, Googled unique ways to frame art, and a few more hundred abbreviations on that but nothing was right, till this idea zoomed in my brain and knocked me off my chair.

I laminated the two photos. I could have stopped here and let Little Man have his pieces of art because they felt indestructible, so that might be an option in the future. Instead I made holes in each corner, found two sticks, and a third to prop it up, and used string to tie it on. (I’m definitely framing something of mine like this one day, but I’ll use pins. I can be trusted with pins. Sometimes.)

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This project is so right up my street I basically live there. It’s so fun, it’s so free, it’s like Gruffalo meet Where The Wild Things Are. Which I think is the inside of a lot of Adults brains anyway.

Have a super day!